Chattahoochee Child – Excerpt

Dearest Readers:

Posting a bit of the story I’ve had dancing inside my heart and soul for many years. Too many years to mention. Yesterday, I realized I have to let go and write this. I hope you enjoy.


Yesterday, my husband and I went to the theatre to see “I CAN ONLY IMAGINE.” Based on the song, “I CAN ONLY IMAGINE,” recorded by Mercy Me in 1999, I remembered when I first heard this song and how the lyrics affected me. My dad passed away in July, 1999. I was in such a severe depression after losing him, I prayed to die, realizing I was being selfish. I still had life to live. People to care for and love. Visiting with my doctor, she asked if I was suicidal. I laughed, realizing she knew me better than I knew myself.
How can a song affect someone so passionately? Writing this question out, I recognized I failed to have an answer. Kneeling at my special window, I looked up into the Heavens and prayed, only this time, my prayer was different. I asked God to help me live and to learn to forgive.
My mother and I were alienated since 1988. After my high school class reunion, I discovered my mother told our little boy his mother was a whore and a drunk. The morning after the reunion, little Michael David rushed to me asking me what was a whore. “I know what a drunk is since Grandpa in Charleston is a drunk, but I’ve never heard the word whore. What is it, Mommy?”

I scooped his tiny body into my arms and bear hugged him. “Mommy is not a whore. A whore is someone who goes out with other men and sleeps in the bed with them. I’m not a whore, Michael David.”

“Granny called you a whore. But you only sleep in the bed with my daddy, Mommy.”

“It’s not a nice name and it’s a word you should not speak again, at least until you’re grown.”

“Why would she call you that word?”

“Granny doesn’t love Mommy the way you and Daddy love me. That’s a good question, and I will ask her in a minute. You go back to sleep.” I kissed Michael on the cheek, tucking him in with his father. I slipped on my robe, walking toward my mother’s room.

I knocked three times. She opened her eyes. “Why did you call me a whore?” I shouted.

“I did no such a thing.”

“Yes, you did.” Michael stood next to me. “You said my mommy was a whore and a drunk.”

The argument continued for an hour. Garrett awoke to the shouting. Recognizing this conversation would be an eternal shouting match of two stubborn women who butted heads all the time, he said we were leaving. I grabbed our luggage and stormed out of the house, refusing to look back.

I cried an endless ocean of tears from Columbus, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina. Michael David apologized for starting the argument. I responded that he was not the problem. My life as a child of the Chattahoochee, the daughter of a woman who could not show love at all, was the problem. The only solution was to build my life with my family, Garrett, and Michael.

In 1988, I realized home is where the heart is. My heart was in Charleston, not Bibb City, or the Chattahoochee. My life in Charleston was filled with suburban roots, and a solid brick foundation, not a detour route of housing projects, mill villages, shouting matches and nothing to refer to as home. The windows to my world reflected love, pride, and ambition. I pinched myself to bring myself back to reality. I did not wish to remember the annoying disconnections I shared with my mother, nor did I want to walk in her footsteps.

I lost my mother on September 11, 2002. She died a ‘questionable death,’ after battling to survive a stroke. Since that time, I’ve discovered she choked to death by inhaling nuts. My mother was allergic to nuts. Her body was paralyzed on the right side. How she was able to inhale nuts and choke to death is a question I need answering. When my sister phoned me telling me of her passing, the one question she repeated to me was: Do you think they’ll do an autopsy?

Interesting question I failed to understand since I was ill with acute bronchial asthma at the time and failed to comprehend what my sister was asking.

Do you think they’ll do an autopsy? Interesting question…

I can only imagine!DSC_0061

To Honor Robin Williams

Dearest Readers:

Early last night while checking my phone I received a news alert — Robin Williams is Dead. “Oh my God…No…the man was brilliant. What happened?”

As I read the news blurb, I could not believe that such a brilliant, gifted talent — the guy who made me laugh, cry and feel so many protected emotions reportedly had taken his own life. Why? I ask…over and over again.

Robin Williams and I have something in common — DEPRESSION. Robin Williams fought the demons of depression, alcoholism and drug abuse while starring in many movies that made us laugh, cry, and ask probing questions. He was a gifted man who could ad-lib hysterical quotes that left me wiping my face while watching and listening to him. One of my favorite movies starring Robin Williams was “Awakenings.” He was brilliant in every movie he starred in. This morning, as I write this post, I feel such a loss. Never will I laugh at him in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” — all I can do now is cry when I watch his movies because I understand what depression does to us.

But what is depression? An estimated 19 million people suffer with depression, according to the website, WebMd.

I could list many of the symptoms of depression here, according to the website; however, because I battle depression, I have experienced many of these symptoms, including the inability to sleep, lack of confidence, sudden, debilitating sadness, tears, unhappiness…anger. Depression is genetic for me. My mother suffered with depression, making her develop into an angry, miserable woman. She died alone, without any friends. I watched her as the demons of depression slowly took over her ability to laugh or enjoy life. All that was left of her before a stroke was an agitated, angry, bitter woman with a spiteful, poisonous tongue that could almost chew me up and spit me out. In 1988, I chose to break away from her after she emotionally abused me for the final time. I walked away without looking back as hot tears gushed from my eyes. I still loved my mother. Isn’t that what a child is supposed to do — to love our parents, regardless of how they treat us? That week, I went to my family doctor asking for help. I was horrified that I might become like my mother. I did not want depression to destroy me.

I have spoken about depression in my posts previously, and when I published my book “Condition of Limbo,” I discussed how difficult depression was for me during my father’s terminal illness. Depression isn’t something easy to write about. People do not understand it. They laugh or joke about depression, saying cruel things such as ‘she’s mentally ill,’ or ‘she’s just not right…’ Friendships are broken and you suddenly see yourself standing alone. Why? Simple. People do not care or maybe they are afraid that if they get too close to the person who is depressed, they might ‘catch it.’

I battle depression daily; however, I have found ways to get me going again. When I feel the depression wrapping me in its destructive, demon crushing arms, I thrust my hands out, as if I am brushing the depression away. I find myself forcing myself to either take a walk, to enjoy the freshness of warm, coastal air, or I step onto the treadmill and walk briskly for 60 minutes. I remind myself that if I work out and walk towards depression, I can survive.

Never have I been tempted to take my life due to depression. Yes, I have experienced many tears, and I have battled days of simply turning off the lights, pulling the shades, ignoring the phone or door bell, and closing myself away in my home. Fortunately, I have a wonderful doctor I can talk to. He understands and listens to me. For two years, I went to a therapist, sharing my most compelling thoughts and childhood experiences with her. She taught me how to confront my demons and I am a much stronger woman for sharing depression with her and my medical doctor.

Maybe it is true that only someone who suffers with depression can understand it. How I wish Robin Williams found a way to work through whatever pain he was enduring when he chose to end his life. Isn’t it strange that those of us who loved his talent, those of us who watched him on-screen and in person, really thought he had his life together. After all, he was a brilliant actor who could laugh or cry, right on cue. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. I doubt another comedian or actor will ever equal Robin Williams. Rest in peace, Robin. The world will miss you so much, but your legend will continue — in all the characters you truly brought to life. Today, I plan to watch “The Birdcage” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Awakenings,” while the tears of depression wash away — for one more day.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams!

Resurrection – the New Show That Has Me Hooked!

Dearest Readers:

I am happy to report the sun is shining beautifully today. I awoke early to beaming sunshine just breaking through and I wanted to kiss it – instead, I blew it a kiss. Aren’t I silly! Since daylight savings time arrived, I have difficulty with sleeping once again. Just what I needed! Nevertheless, I recognize mornings will start earlier, but the day is longer, and that I welcome. I cannot wait to take a long walk on the beach again. I have missed it so much.

Yes, spring is in the air and I am so pleased to welcome it. Last night I watched a new shop that debuted — RESURRECTION. I admit it — I am hooked on it! Even though I fell asleep while watching it, and I was so thankful that I recorded it — to watch later — in the event I fell asleep. This morning, I watched it, and I think it is one of the greatest, new shows I have watched in a long time — with the exception of Nashville, that is!

Unlike Nashville, the characters are not sleeping around — yet!
Let’s hope that continues!

To summarize “Resurrection,” Jason died 32 years ago, but he returned as an eight-year-old child. There are many characters to learn and I honestly cannot list anymore of them in this writing, but I do believe in resurrection and this show is mesmerizing. No profanity! [And that is a definite plus]. The episode appears to move quickly, along with the storyline.

I confess, lately I’ve lost interest in going to the movies and watching TV. I do not watch reality shows since they are filled with bleeps, but you can still read their lips and tell the F-bomb is exploding again. As for the movies, I so hate hearing the F-bomb every other word. Enough of it! My husband says I must just tune out these words, but how can you — when F-bomb is a constant recording that refuses to stop.

Yes, I am an aspiring screenwriter; however, I do not write the F-bomb into my screenplays. Perhaps that is why I am STILL an ASPIRING screenwriter who has won awards — but no options. Who knows. I simply refuse to lower my standards. Perhaps I am from the old school, but I do strive not to curse, and when I do slip up and say a few of the ‘normal’ words, I am told not to apologize. You must understand. When I was a child, I was raised in a Pentecostal, Assembly of God religion. If we so much as said “gosh” we were punished.

Watching “Resurrection” I was taken back to a time when stories were written for families to watch. I do hope “Resurrection” is resurrected for television. We need more quality shows — not ones that are of the ‘reality’ nature where class, quality family life, and standards no longer exist. It’s no wonder I don’t watch much television anymore, and perhaps why I am careful what movies I see. I am sick of F-bombs! As a screenwriter, I do watch those movies nominated for awards, although many times, after a few expletives, I close my eyes so I can sleep. I was able to get through “Dallas Buyers Club,” while striving to shut my ears to the vocabulary used.

Yes, “Resurrection” has me hooked — for now! Let us hope it is successful! Maybe I will actually have something to watch on Sunday nights now, instead of my collection of the “Golden Girls!”

“The Butler,” Is One Of The Best Movies I Have Seen In A Long Time…

Yesterday, my husband and I went to see “The Butler.”

Forest Whitaker captivated me as Cecil Gaines, “The Butler.” From the poignant opening scene of the movie until the end, I was spellbound, remembering the Civil Rights Movement, how blacks were treated and how angry I got, as a child, recognizing the ‘colored’ signs, the derogatory names and treatments of what it was like to grow up during that setting in America.

I grew up in a mill village in Georgia, where racism existed. When I questioned anything, I was told to “keep quiet. You have no say-so and it doesn’t affect you, so just be a little Southern girl and keep your mouth shut.” Silly me. I refused to listen! “The Butler” brought all of those memories back to me.

Forest Whitaker has always been one of my favorite actors. He truly brings the character of Cecil Gaines to life. I cried and cried…and cried!

No doubt, when the DVD comes out, I will add “The Butler” to my collection of movies. A few of my friends are refusing to see “The Butler,” because Jane Fonda “stars” in it. In all reality, she only has two or three scenes as Nancy Reagan. Although she is in the credits, her performance is one that if you blink your eyes, or run to the restroom, you might miss her performance.

I am hopeful “The Butler” will be nominated for an Academy Award and will win. Definitely a must see movie for 2013! To those of you unfamiliar with the Civil Rights Movement, “The Butler” is an education of what happened and how narrow-minded America was during the 1960’s and Vietnam era. Still, I find it shameful, unforgivable!

“The Butler” is well worth seeing. Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker are fabulous as Cecil and Gloria! And for those who are not familiar with the bigotry of what it was like to grow up during the Civil Rights Movement, “The Butler” is an education of those dreadful times of change. I am so happy that America finally awoke, recognizing that all of us are equal.

Please add “The Butler” to your must see movie list.


Every year I watch the Oscars…at least, for a bit. I love to see the fashions, the glitz, glamour and bling, bling. Some of the gowns are magnificent. Others? Well, let’s just say, I enjoy fashion and glamour, and I certainly like to make that ‘grand entrance.’ 

Tonight, I shall watch, hoping The Oscars is not boring – AGAIN. I look forward to seeing Barbra Streisand perform. Isn’t this the first time in over 30 years for her? She is such a class act.

What else do I wish to see at The Oscars? There are so many great films out and I confess, I’ve only seen a few. As an aspiring screenwriter, I really should see more of them. My budget has convinced me to wait on some until they are available at Netflix, or at Walmart.

I am pulling for “Zero Dark Thirty,” only because I’ve seen it and thought it was a great movie. I had my doubts about it, but must admit, it kept me on the edge of my seat. The language wasn’t what I expected as I anticipated the ‘four letter words’ and such. I was so thankful for that! I detest movies with the “F” word as a main character! If you haven’t seen “Zero Dark Thirty,” you must add it to your list.

Oops…I must go and freshen up. The Oscars Red Carpet starts at 7pm tonight, and I simply must freshen up a bit — to admire, dream and wish I could wear one of those amazing designer gowns. Did I mention I’m on a budget. I live in the South and Congress is apparently refusing to decide what to do with the Sequestrian. Just when will those ‘good ole boys’ get their act together and realize the United States needs to work together as a team to boost our economy, but that is another editorial, coming soon!

Perhaps that is why I enjoy The Oscars. It is a great escape for me to dream about life in tinseltown “Hollywood” and to wish I could live in such luxury.

Oh well. It’s back to reality, isn’t it!